I’m a little late to the TWD party this week, my apologies. We’ve recently added a new family member and this little bundle of energy has taken up all of my free time. We are first time dog owners so this has been quite the experience for us both as we’re in a constant state of extreme worry and extreme joy over her. It’s been so great. Also, our three cats are responding better than we could have ever hoped.
Our new Great Dane puppy. My boyfriend named her “Kinder”, like the kinder in “kindergarten”. It means “child” in German.
Now, on to the cake. :)
I usually make mention whenever I hit a “milestone” on my blog. This time, it’s my 70th Tuesday with Dorie recipe (which is not how many week’s I’ve been participating with the group, although it’s close, but how many of the TWD selections I’ve made so far). I couldn’t think of a better choice to ring in my 70th with than this Perfect Party Cake. So thank you Carol of mix, mix… stir, stir for choosing it.
This is a white layer cake flavored with lemon and raspberry, with a swiss meringue buttercream and a sprinkling of shredded coconut.
The cakes baked up really nice. I’d never made a swiss meringue buttercream before where you heat egg whites first and then whip up a beautiful frosting with three sticks of butter (yikes!), but everything went smoothly. The raspberry filling was no more than warming up some raspberry jam.
I think I’ve finally conquered my fear of layer cakes. I didn’t have any problems with this recipe at all. My layers weren’t as uniform as I would have liked maybe, but I also kind of cut my cakes in half with reckless abandon so I guess I couldn’t expect that. It was easy to cut and serve, although at times the jam in the layers made it a little slippery.
This cake is definitely perfect for a party. I had a thought while I was tasting it that it would be a good wedding cake too, maybe minus the coconut. I shared it with our neighbors who also really liked it. I don’t think you can go wrong here and it seems like a versatile cake where you could easily change up flavors and it would still turn out great.
Thank you Carol for choosing Perfect Party Cake on pages250-252 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours. Please check out the book or stop by Carol’s Blog for the recipe. Next week, the TWD logo contest winner Lisa of Surviving Oz chose Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies on pages 96-97.
I grew up watching The Golden Girls. Every Saturday night, no matter what we were doing, my Mom and I would rush home in time to see what those four crazy girls were up to that week. Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, Sophia – all characters we knew and loved. Of course, our favorite was Sophia, “Picture it… Sicily… 1932….”.
The Golden Girls would sit around the table late at night discussing their problems over a big fat cheesecake and I would sit there soaking it all in at the age of about 9 or 10, all the raunchy jokes completely going over my head. This show is how cheesecake was introduced into my life.
Isn’t it funny what you can vividly remember from your childhood? How you can play things back like a movie that’s just been held on pause waiting for you to push play? I recall this particular memory I’m about to share like it happened yesterday. One Saturday on our way home to catch The Girls, my Mom asked me what I would like for dinner. I answered the usual “Spaghetti” but then added “and for dessert I want cheesecake.” She was like “Cheesecake? You’ve never had it. You won’t like it, it’s for grown ups” I said “Yes, I WILL like it. It will be my favorite thing in the whole world.” She just rolled her eyes but drove to the store and got us a cheesecake for dessert that night anyway.
That was the night my lifelong love of cheesecake began.
I’ve been doing Tyler Florence Fridays for a while now. One of the first recipes I really honed in on was Tyler’s Ultimate Cheesecake. If you’re a baker that loves cheesecake, seeing that title alone will most likely make you investigate. Then when you see the recipe was rated 5 out of 5 stars from about 685 total reviews on the ‘net, you’ll probably start to think you’ve really been missing something.
The graham cracker crust is refrigerated for five minutes rather than blind-baked. Sweet, I get annoyed with blind-baking. I made a full recipe and used the recommended 8 inch springform pan. The crust was easy to smoosh down on the bottom and up the sides. The filling has a 1:1 ratio of cream cheese and sour cream, eggs, moderate sugar, lots of lemon zest, and a hint of vanilla. It’s so easy to put together, even a person who claims to have no skills in the kitchen could get this done. The cheesecake is baked in a water bath at 325 degrees, Tyler says for 45 minutes. I did bake mine a little longer, more like 55-60 minutes after reading some of the reviews on foodnetwork.com. The cheesecake will still be pretty jiggly after it’s time in the oven, that is how it’s supposed to be. Don’t worry, it will firm up. I refrigerated mine overnight.
One word review: phenomenal.
The sour cream wasn’t overwhelming at all. The lemon zest stood out, it gave a nice brightness. The cheesecake was very creamy and made that deflating type of sound when you put your fork through it. Normally, I’m a Plain Jane with cheesecake but I loved the lemon blueberries on this.
I’m feeling a Golden Girls dvd marathon coming on with my Mom, my two sisters and this cheesecake right in the middle of us all. Maybe I’ll remind my Mom of that day all those years ago when she ended up being completely wrong about my 10 year old palate, but I’ll probably just keep that part to myself. I think I’ll thank her instead for driving to the store to pick up a cheesecake so I could try it even though she thought she’d be throwing her hard earned money right down the tubes.
Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Cheesecake
Show: Tyler’s Ultimate Episode: Cheesecake
Click here to see a how-to video
2 cups finely ground graham crackers(about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream (16 oz)
1 lemon, zested
1 dash vanilla extract
Warm Lemon Blueberry Topping
Warm Lemon Blueberries:
1 pint blueberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
Click here for directions!
Lemon Tarts are yummy. This one is interesting because it uses whole lemons. After I had already made and tasted this, I read some tips from other bakers about removing the white pith from the lemon before using. This is definitely what I should have done because at times it was a tad too bitter. Not really tart… just bitter. But I was able to overlook that and still really enjoy it since the crust and powdered sugar did a good job of cutting it down. I used Dorie’s plain sweet tart dough and doubled the egg yolk while decreasing the butter. I’ve found that increasing the egg yolk in her tart dough recipes works better for me as it reduces crumbliness. I made the lemon filling as directed.
Thanks to Babette for choosing Tartest Lemon Tart. For the recipe, stop by Babette Feasts. Next week, it’s Fresh Mango Bread!
Sometimes you want dessert with barely putting forth any effort. At least I do. I work late a lot and don’t want to be messing around with something that takes a long time, but I also want more than just eating a few chocolate chips out of a bag to satisfy my sweet tooth. These Strawberry-Lemon Puddings use a few store bought ingredients that really save time. Within a half hour you can have a delicious dessert.
This is basically a traditional Strawberry Shortcake but with lemon thrown in the mix. Lemon curd whipped cream, strawberries in lemon syrup and buttery pound cake are layered together and topped with toasted pound cake crumbs. Mmmm.
The steps to this recipe are easy as it’s mostly assembling the components and not really much cooking or baking. All that you really need to do is heat up the strawberries on the stove top for five minutes and whip some cream into soft peaks. That’s nothin’.
This turned out as I expected. Deeeelicious. I’ve come to expect that from Tyler Florence recipes, even simple ones like this. The lemon curd whipped cream was to die for and, to my surprise, actually pretty rich. I think I put too much whipped cream in my layers, next time I would knock it back a bit.
Tyler Florence’s Strawberry-Lemon Puddings
From the book Dinner At My Place
Makes 4 Servings
2 cups of strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 Meyer lemon, juice only (I used regular lemon juice)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for the tops
1/2 cup lemon curd, store bought
1 pound cake, store bought
The recipe and directions can be found online at HSN’s website here.
Strawberry-Lemon Puddings are my tenth post for Tyler Florence Fridays, a group with the freedom to make any recipe of Tyler’s that they choose and then share their experiences every Friday.
We’ve done a total overhaul of our eating habits over the last month, something that desperately needed to be done. We were spending an obscene amount of money between the two of us on Starbucks (every day… eeek!), lunches and dinners out constantly. The plan was to find the store that consistently has the best sales week to week, which turned out to be the oldest store in our town that always has an empty parking lot while shoppers buzz in and out of a new fancy mega-store right across the street. We watch the circulars and plan our meals around what’s on sale and walk through the aisles in peace with no one getting in our way. We don’t even have to wait in line when we’re ready to pay. Things are on a system now and under control AND extra money is padding our accounts…sweet!
Due to this change though, I was a bad Barefoot Blogger last month. I missed both recipes, something I’ve never done. My apologies to Tara and both Rebecca and BMK who picked great recipes that I just couldn’t get completed.
I’m back this month though and ready to go.
Lindsey of Noodle Nights and Muffin Mornings has selected Chicken Piccata for the first March recipe. We’ve made this dish at my house before and it went over well, so I was happy to make it again.
This is a quick and easy dinner that’s delicious. Boneless chicken breasts are pounded thin and dredged through a flour mixture, an egg mixture and finally seasoned bread crumbs. The chicken is browned in olive oil on the stovetop and then baked in the oven for a few minutes. Everything is covered with a lemon, wine and butter sauce and then topped with fresh parsley and lemon slices. Sounds good, huh? It is.
This would be the perfect dinner to whip up at a moments notice or after a long day at work. It really takes no time at all and there aren’t a lot of ingredients or steps to stress over. The lemon flavor is pretty strong in this recipe, which I love, but just be aware.
Thanks to Lindsey for a wonderful choice.
Ina Garten’s Chicken Piccata
Show: Barefoot Contessa Episode: It’s Friday Night Again
2 split (1 whole) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
Good olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving
Click here for directions!
And since it’s been lemon my last couple of posts I thought it was the perfect time to give a big Thank You to Michelle of Big Black Dog who gave me this Lemonade Award on one of her recent posts (Chocolate Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Bubble Frosting… mmmm).
Thanks Michelle, it really made my day when you let me know.
I want to say I really liked this one, but I didn’t. It wasn’t awful or anything, but there was an initial strong egg smell and taste on each spoonful that I had a hard time getting past. It finished with a nice lemon aftertaste so it wasn’t eggy all the way through which did save it a little. All in all though, it was not for me and I tried it twice at different times just to make sure. The boyfriend really liked this one so he was on the total opposite end of the spectrum. Like usual!
I made the standard lemon version and added the optional lemon extract (which I doubled). There are other flavor combinations that are suggested for this custard and maybe those would work out a little better. All this being said I’m glad I tried it anyway. This was my first recipe out of over 50 of Dorie’s that didn’t thrill me so no big deal, right?
Thanks to Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles for the choice this week! Head on over to Bridget’s blog here to view the recipe and to see what she thought. Next week, Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction has selected French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze. See you next Tuesday!